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Full text of "A sermon preached in the Presbyterian Church of Edisto-Island on the eleventh of March, 1812: being the day appointed for religious reflection, humiliation and prayer, by the poclamation [sic] of his Excellency Henry Middleton, Governor of the State of South-Carolina"

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A ^4 

SERMON* ; A 



PREACHED 



IN THE 



PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF EDISTO-ISLAND, 

ON THE ELEVENTH OF MARCH, 1812, 



BEIXG THE DAY APPOINTED 



tor. 



Religious Reflection, Humiliation and Prayer, 

BY THE POCLAMATION OF HIS EXCELLENCY 

HENRY MIDDLETON, 

Governor of the State of South-Carolina. 

BY THE KEY. DONALD M'LEOD. 



CHARLESTON: 

PRINTED BV E. M0R1VRD, MLLINCTON & CO. 
No. Hi, Broad-Street. 

1812. 

vJ5c 



5 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



THE Discourse which is here submitted to the m- 
pection of the Public, was prepared by the Author, in 
the course of his ministry, for the solemnity of the day 
set apart by the Executive Authority, for Religious Re- 
flection^ Humiliation, and Prayer, without any thought 
of Publication. ') he duty of the Religious Instructor, 
he conceives, is not to discover new truths, but to illus- 
trate and enforce those which are received and establish- 
ed ^ In subserviency to this purpose, he can avail him- 
self of the common fund of Divine and human know- 
ledge — of sacred and profane literature; and, if possess- 
ed of taste, genius, erudition, and diligence, he cannot 
fail to exhibit specimens of composition calculated to 
attract attention and ensure applause. These are accom- 
plishments, which he does not arrogate to himself, and 
prospects, which, at the period referred to, could not 
have entered into his calculations. His views were of a 
more moderate and less aspiring character, but they 
were not, on that account, less laudable and meritorious. 
They were the edification and instruction of the People 
committed to his Pastoral care, under the influence of a 
sentiment which actuates and governs him in the system 
of life — that of meaning well, and acting for the best. 



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TO 

Daniel Townshend, William Edings, 

Joseph J. Murray, William Seabrook, and 

Enliraim Mikcll, Esquires, 

ELDERS £ TRUSTEES 

OF THE 

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of EDISTO-ISLAND, 

THIS DISCOURSE, 

is, 

WITH GREAT DEFERENCE AND RESPECT, 
INSCRIBED, 

BV 

THEIR MOST OBEDIENT AND HUMBLE SERVANT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



REVEREND SIR, 

THE very great satisfaction which vre^ 
5n common with the rest of your audience, derived 
from hearing your Discourse, on Wednesday, the llih 
instant, has induced us, in behalf of ourselves, and of 
the Congregation at large, to solicit you for a copy of it 
for publication. It having contained allusions to certain 
facts in the history of our government; to the events o£ 
the passing times; to those Earthquakes which have 
lately affected so large a portion of our country, and 
alarmed so many of our citizens ; and to the conduct of 
Providence — \vc could wish to have a more permanent 
memorial of it than we can derive from our imperfect 
recollections and impressions. Discourses tending to. 
illustrate the doctrine of Divine Prov dence, and to 
enforce a dependence on the (reat Creator, we conceive,, 
will always, and particularly in seasons of difficulty and, 
danger, as the present are, be well received. From 
considerations, such as these, as well as from your dis- 
position to oblige, we hope you will comply with our. 
n quest, and add this to the many obligations which you-, 
have conferred upon us in the course of your ministry. 
With sentiments of great respect and affection, 
We are, 

Keverend Sir, 

Your most obedient serv'ts. 

William Seabrooi:, 
William Kdings, 
Joseph James .\:urra^ 

Ephraim Mikell. 
To the Rev. Donald M'Leod. 



:S3 



GENTLEMEN, 



THERE is scarcely any thing that an in- 
genuous mind more highly values than the approbation 
of the wise and good I his sentiment of approbation 
leads to tire achievement of useful and noble enterprises, 



8 

prompts to virtuous efforts and honorable conduct, and 
tends to console and support us under those painful and 
adverse vicissitudes, which are inseparable from our con- 
dition 

The expressions of satisfaction which you are pleased 
to apply to the Exercise that I delivered, for your in- 
struction, on the 11th instant, in the regular discharge 
of my professional functions, more th:m amply reward 
me for anv trouble it may have cost me in the com- 
position of it. It may not have occurred to your re- 
flections, that the interest which you indulgently attach 
to that performance may have proceeded partly, if not 
chiefly, from causes extrinsic to any real merit it may 
possess. There was something in the solemnity of the 
day and probably in the manner of the delivery, connect- 
ed with the aspect f the times, and those commotions 
which have so recently affected the physical tranquility 
of our country, that excited your sympathy, arrested 
your attention, and ltd you to think more favorably of 
it than, upon examination, it will be found to deserve. 
Divested of these adventitious aids, you will peruse it 
with diminished interest, and with feelings and impres- 
sions different from those excited and acquired during 
the delivery of it. 

If, in presenting to you this Discourse, to be disposed 
of as your discretion may direct, I have made some 
sacrifice of opinion, and departed from resolutions taken 
in reference to similar solicitations, you will not the less 
highly appreciate my compliance with your request, for 
as much as it has proceeded solely from a disposition to 
gratify gentlemen, whom it is my inclination, duty and 
interest co oblige. 

I am, Gentlemen, 

"With great respect, 

Your obedient humble serv't. 

DONALD M'JLEOD. 

To William Seahrook, "J 

Willim Edinga, I E , 

Jos< pli J Mui ray, I ^ 
Ephm. Mickell, -* . 



SERMON, *c. 



II. CHRONICLES vii. 14. 

If 'my people, <who are called by my name, shall humble themselves 
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their evil vuayj ; 
then --will I hear from Heaven, and voill forgive their sin, ahd 
will heal their land, 

AUTHORIZED by the constitution and the 
laws — conceiving- that the threatening aspect of 
the times required it — and " impressed by the 
consideration that to set apart this as a day of De- 
votion, and Religious Reflection, throughout the 
State, would be agreeable to the feelings of the 
good people thereof, and conducive to their re- 
ligious and moral improvement — and also, an 
act answerable to the calls of the Most High God, 
and calculated to bring down upon this people 
his protection and favour" — the Chief Magistrate 
has issued a Proclamation appointing this day to 
be observed as a day of Humiliation, Religious 
Reflection and Prayer. In obedience to the re- 
quisition of this State Paper, announced in a for- 
mal and public manner for our observance/ we 
have assembled here this Jay in this House 
of Prayer; ** to acknowledge and bewail before 
God our manifold sins and wickedness; to im- 
plore him to avert from us, and from every p 
of our common country, every impending j J 
ment; to supplicate his aid and blessing m cul- 
tivating that righteousness which exalteth a na- 
il 



io 

tion, and discarding those vices which are a re- 
proach to any people ; to acquire and cherish 
that repentance towards God, and faith in the 
Gospel of his Son, which may qualify us, under 
all circumstances, to rely with humble confidence 
upon that Almighty Power, who lioldeth the earth 
when it shaketh, rideth upon the whirlwind and di~ 
rcctcth thestorm; to render unto this great and ter- 
rible God our most humble and hearty thanks for 
the preservation of the natural, social, political and 
religious blessings, with which, amidst our dangers 
and fears, we have hitherto been favoured ; and 
to pray with rational and sober zeal for the con- 
tinuance of them; to extend, in the sublime spirit 
of Christian Benevolence, our concern to the 
whole human race, beseeching the Almighty to 
look with compassion upon an agitated world; to 
turn, from other endangered countries, the evils 
with which earthquakes, tempest, and the flame 
of devouring fire mav threaten them, and to 
give repentance and virtue, pure and undefiled 
religion, peace, happiness, and concord to all 
the nations of the earth." 

From the earliest ages, the votaries of every 
scheme of religion have had recourse to prayer, 
humiliation and fasting, under the pressure of 
private sufferings and public calamities, to con- 
ciliate the favour, and secure the protection of 
the objects of their adoration and confidence, to 
avert impending evils and threatening judgments, 
and to acquire other consequent advantages : — 
and this, if consistently and conscientiously ob- 
served, is a salutary and an improving discipline : 
it is favourable to tranquility of mind — to the 
progress of intellectual pursuits and devotional 
meditations — to self-recollection, penitence and 



li 

reformation ; as well as, to the health, the hap* 
piness, and the longevity of individuals. It does 
not appear that the Great Founder of our divine 
religion instituted any stated periodical lents, or 
prescribed any occasional seasons of humiliation 
and abstinence, to be observed by his followers, 
for the purposes of devotion. Although this be 
confessedly true, yet the practice derives some 
countenance and sanction from his doctrine and 
example. To counteract the artifices and assaults 
of the grand enemy of our race, and to establish 
his superiority over that formidable and malic:- 
nant spirit in the memorable scene of the temp- 
tation in the wilderness, he prepared himself by 
a long and solemn abstinence of forty days. In 
censuring the hypocrites for the sad and disfigured 
severity of countenance which they assumed, for 
the purposes of appearance and ostentation,* he 
conveys an implied approbation of the practice, 
if performed in sincerity and for the glory of 
God. The Apostles and Primitive Professors of 
the Faith, exhibited affecting instances of patient 
sufferings, rigorous austerity and frequent fast- 
ings. These exercises they blended with their 
religious rites and services; as expressions of 
their humility, contrition, and penitence, and as 
calculated to purify their souls from sin, and ren- 
der their solemnities acceptable in the divine es- 
timation In subsequent ages stated periodical 
lents, and occasional days of fasting and humilia- 
tion, were multiplied and extended — and those 
in titutions were gradually incorporated with the 
constitution and the laws, by the civil authorities, 
as effectual means of appeasing the wrath of an 
offended Deity, and averting those miseries and 



* Mathcw 



•i. 10. 



12 

calamities which general and daring sins had 
either actually inflicted, or threatened to entail 
upon communities and nations. In harmony 
with this representation, and in confirmation of 
the efficacy of the practice, is this declaration of 
the Almighty : — // my 'people, who are called by 
my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and 
seek my face, and turn from their wicked wags; 
then will 1 hear from Heaven, and will forgive 
their sin and will heal their land. 

To fulfil the pious and benevolent intentions 
of the Executive, as comporting with " the feel- 
ings of the good people of this State," and to 
render the ministrations of the day more effec- 
tually subservient to those religious and moral 
purposes for which it was appointed, it is propos- 
ed in the sequel of this discourse 

First : To consider those traits in our charac- 
ter, and those circumstances in the aspect of the 
times, and physical condition of our country, 
which led to the appointment of this day's so- 
lemnity. 

Secondly : To enforce the conduct incumbent 
upon us, in consequence of those traits in our 
character, to avert the threatening dispensations 
of Providence, as they are manifested in the as- 
pect of the times, and the physical condition of 
our country. 

And lastly : To subjoin such reflections as the 
consideration of the subject, and the solemnity 
of the day may suggest. 

First : Those traits in our character, which led 
to this day's solemnity, are represented to be, 
" our manifold sins and wickedness." The evi- 
dence of this affecting representation is too 
apparent to require any detailed exhibition or 






elaborate confirmation : it is a representation, 
the reality of which no one will be disposed to 
controvert. lie surveys the state of our society 
with superficial attention who does not see it 
verified in a variety of melancholy instances. The 
decay of religion and piety, in many places, is 
too notorious to escape the observation, and too 
alarming not to excite the deep regret of every 
friend to the best interests of mankind : and so 
sensible and visible is this decay, and so regard- 
less of religious institutions are numbers of our 
citizens become, that churches, built in a more 
serious and pious age, at vast labour and expense, 
and which, in better times, were regularly fre- 
quented and crowded with devout and zealous 
worshippers, are now, in our degenerate days, 
abandoned and become the retreat of birds of 
darkness; of impure and creeping things; pre- 
senting to the eye of the traveller a sad and af- 
fecting spectacle of ruin and dilapidation, that 
betrays a criminal indifference, and a lamentable 
absence of zeal in the inhabitance of the vicin- 
age. Some districts are totally destitute of any 
consistent or adequate provision for public in- 
struction in the faith in Christ, and the duties of 
morality. The day appropriated to the weekly 
worship of the true God — to instruction in divine 
knowledge and religious recoiled ion — to cessa- 
tion from labour and abstinence from business — 
is converted to scenes of idleness, disgraceful 
amusements, and criminal pursuits. Actuated, 
as fashion, fancv, and caprice, may dictate, mul- 
titudes of those who name the name of Christ 
repair to the places appointed for the celebra- 
tion of divine worship only when it is conveni- 
ent to have the pleasure of a ride, to hear the 



*4 

news of the day, to sec and be seen. In the 
assemblies of the faithful, if corporeally pre- 
sent, they are generally mentally absent; with- 
out attention and fervency in prayer, without 
animation and rapture in praise. The victims of 
distractions and alienations, thev are thinking of 
their farms, and thinking of their merchandise, 
worshipping in the spirit of levity and folly. 
That reverence for the authority of God, that 
respect for divine institutions and sacred ordi- 
nances, that seriousness of disposition and love 
of sacred subjects, that frugality and austerity of 
manners, which so eminentlv distinguished the 
primitive settlers, our pious and more zealous 
ancestors, have entirely vanished and disappeared. 
Important as the service of God, and excellent 
as the cause of Christianity are confessed to be, 
thev create no adequate interest and become not 
a supreme concern. Every phantom of inter- $t, 
and every shadow of imaginary good, engrosses 
attention, and is eagerly pursued to the neglect 
of the things that belong to our everlasting peace. 
In every other profession and pursuit, there is 
neither deficiency of zeal nor paucity of votaries. 
Skilful and industrious planters, intelligent and 
enterprising merchants, ardent patriots and elo- 
quent politicians, every where abound, while 
few or none appear zealous and assiduous in mfck- 
ing their calling and election sine. The arts are 
distinguished for ingenious and persevering pro- 
iicients, but few are ambitious to attain emi- 
nence and distinction in the art of being religi- 
ous and good. Every branch of knowledge and 
of science attracts attention, and is successfully 
cultivated, but that which vindicates the ways of 
God to men and makes them wine unto salvation 



15 

The I: road and commodious way of the world, 
that leadeth unto death, is crowded with the fol- 
lowers of pleasure, the votaries of ambition, the 
candidates for honour and distinction, and the 
expectants of office and preferment, while the 
straight and narrow way of the Gospel, the icv// 
of pleasantness, the path of peace, that leadeth 
unio life eternal is nearly deserted or occupied 
by a few solitary and scattered travellers. 

And who is there that maintains any com- 
merce with the world, or that stalks abroad to 
hear and see the things that are said and doi 
under the sun, that can fail to discover th; ; ; 
a spirit of levity, infidelity, socinianism and 
materialism, prevails to pervert the principles 
and relax the morals of the community. Unci Ti- 
the specious but delusive plea of liberality of 
sentiment and a predilection for freedom of 
enquiry, the emissaries and advocates of these 
perverted and destructive principles, are labour- 
ing with a zeal and diligence worthy of a bet- 
ter cause to make converts to the joyless and 
gloomy systems of scepticism and fatalism — To 
efface the glorious and consolatory idea of a 
superintending Providence, and a righteous ad- 
ministration of the universe — to subvert all faith 
in Revelation, a Redeemer, Mediator, Intercessor, 
and Sanctifier, and to extinguish the sublime and 
blessed hope of immortality and a future retribu- 
tion, you will hear a generation of young sci- 
olists, a tribe of little sophisters and .small wits, 
distinguished for superficial reading, obtrusive 
p.'itiuss and noisy garrulity, advancing, in 
public and private, with fearless and shameless 
effrontery, extravagant notions, and stran 
and daring paradoxes, without any show of rca- 



i6 

son, shadow of evidence, or substance of truth. 
Seduced by the pride of opinion, countenanced 
by the number of their proselytes, flattered by 
the quality of their associates, and unwilling to 
forsake their evil ways and unrighteous thoughts, 
they are industrious and persevering to confound 
the eternal distinctions of good and evil, virtue 
and vice; and, literally, make a mock of sin, and 
ridicule all the fatal and fearful consequences 
that flow from it. If secure from public justice, 
they are regardless of the Divine Presence, and 
fearless of his vengeance, although living in the 
commission of enormities against which the Great 
Creator has denounced tribulation and wrath, in- 
dignation and anger. From these flagitious and 
perverted principles, secretly indulged or open- 
ly avowed, proceed a contempt of the divine, 
and a neglect of the salutary restraints of hu- 
man laws: and hence, falsehood, perjury and 
dishonesty — robbery, duelling and murders, have 
made a lamentable progress ; and hence, also, 
pride, arrogance and presumption — idleness, ex- 
travagance and intemperance — gaming, usury 
and extortion, are vices characteristic of the 
state and times. 

Insensibility, to the numerous and positive bless- 
ings which have hitherto distinguished our happy 
lot as citizens and Christians, is a prominent fea- 
ture in our character, and not the least heinous 
in the circle of our infirmities. Ingratitude is 
a mental vice, and, being less frequently display- 
ed in acts of atrocious wickedness, is generally 
considered as more venial than malignant. This 
is a fallacy of the imagination, and the result of 
superficial thinking. If less frequently seen in 
the palpable forms of profligate vice, it yet se- 



17 

crctly contaminates and depraves the heart, and 
proves the fruitful source of corruption. It 
would require no great display of irtgeimity to 
resolve all our duties to the Supreme Being to 
gratitude a> their source ; and hence insensibili- 
ty to the divine beneficence implies the greatest 
degree of guilt and criminality. The history of 
Divine Providence, as displayed in the equitable 
and retributive reactions of his displeasure, in 
the communities distinguished for their ingrati- 
tude, presents many admonitory comments and 
significant warnings to a nation so highly favour- 
ed by Heaven as our beloved country has been, 
on everv trying emergency. 

Thirty-six years are now elapsed since the Bri- 
tish American Colonies erected themselves into 
Sovereign and Independent States. The intelli- 
gent and contemplative observer, who is accus- 
tomed to advert to the conduct of Providence 
and to trace effects to their causes, cannot fail 
to recognize the agency. of the Most High in a 
combination of such causes and circumstances, 
most mvstcriously contributing to our success, as 
no human sagacity could foresee, direct, or over- 

O J m 

rule. The Revolutionary war, was, in the first 
stages of it, eminentiv the contest of the weak 
against the strong, the few against the many, 
and the destitute against the fruitful in resources; 
and yetlhe result of their patriotic and persever- 
ing efforts transcended the most sanguine antici- 
pations of human probability. This is the Lord's 
doing and it is maivellous in our eyes* 

The acquisition of Independence would hav; 5 
been an unavailing and fruitless act, d.stitute o!" 
an adequate and consistent scheme of govern- 

* Psalm cxviii. 23. 

C 



i8 

jment, calculated to perpetuate the inestimable 
blessings of life,, liberty, reputation and proper- 
ty., secure from the violence of arbitrary power, 
and the encroachments of lawless oppression ; 
and capable of extending protection and foster- 
ing encouragment to the liberal sciences and 
ufeful arts, which contribute so largely to the 
comforts and refinement of individuals, and to 
the lustre and prosperity of states. That at a 
period of so much anxiety, intrigue, and dis- 
traction, ol party feelings, and local jealousies, a 
Constitution should have been formed and adopt- 
ed, embracing so much of detail, combining so 
many jarring interests and discordant elements 
into union and harmony, and containing so much 
political wisdom and excellence, is a circum- 
stance that leads us to entertain the most exalted 
ideas of the wisdom, patriotism, and talents, of 
those distinguished statesmen who conceived and 
realized the grand scheme, under the approving 
auspices and co-operating guidance of Heaven. 
The organization of the Federal system of go- 
vernment, from which those of the several 
states derived their tone and complexion, was 
confessedly the result of the purest patriotism 
and consummate wisdom, and reflects the great- 
est credit on the illustrious framers of that 
invaluable instrument. They have erected an 
enduring, an immortal monument to their own 
fame., and the countless generations that are des- 
tined, in the lapse of ages, to flourish under its 
protecting shade, will hail and call them blessed. 
From the sera of the adoption of this excel- 
lent form of government, the States under the 
range of its protection, exempted from any ad- 
verse vicissitudes, and blessed with fruitful sea- 



*9 

sons and internal tranquillity, have made such 
signal advances in civilization and general im- 
provement, as displays a co-operation of Divine 
Providence. The deliberations of the Federal 
Legislature have been, for years, distinguished 
for wisdom, and productive of great national 
prosperity. From a condition of embarrassment, 
confusion, and distrust, the States have emerged 
with unparalleled rapidity into union, order, and 
confidence, and have attained and secured an 
enviable respectability in the scale of nations. 
Jn the revolution of a few short years our popu- 
lation has astonishingly increased, commerce has 
extended its enterprizes to every quarter of the 
globe — the national revenue in consequence. im- 
proved — agriculture and manufactures advanced 
and flourished — and science and religion have 
diffused their enlightening and consoling influ- 
ence to the different classes that compose the 
scale of our society. 

If those who have succeeded the original pro- 
jectors and illustrious founders of the Federal 
svstem in the administration of the government 
have not conducted the national affairs to that 
desirable state of prosperity to which "the full 
tide of successful experiment," in which they 
found them, would have naturally led, that cha- 
ritij which thinketh 710 evil, forbids us to ascribe 
their failure to any deficiency of patriotism or 
want of zeal for the public good, but to errone- 
ous notions of the true interests of their coun- 
try, to partial and contracted views of policy, 
or to a peculiarity of talents, which qualified them 
more for presiding over collegiate and monastic 
institutions than for wielding the energies of a 
mighty Republic, that extends Us dominion from 



20 

sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of ihB 
earth* 

That the stability of governments and the per- 
petuity of states are inseparably connected with 
the religion and the morality of the people, is an 
opinion supported by the concurrent consent of 
all legislators, philosophers, divines and moralists, 
and confirmed by the invariable experience of 
all ages and nations. And if there be any pecu- 
liar feature that pre-eminently distinguishes and 
separates us from foreign and surrounding' na- 
tions, it is, that the Constitution to which the 
guidance of Heaven and the wisdom and patri- 
otism of our statesmen have conducted us, secures 
to every citizen the free exercise of his religion. 
He can worship the God of his Fathers in the 
manner which he has preset ibed, and profess the 
faiih once delivered unto the saints, without fear of 
reproach or dread of molestation. He has free 
and unrestrained access to the Scriptures, which 
contain the Words of eternal life; can peruse them 
in the current and vernacular tongue, collect for 
himself the articles of his faith and the precepts 
of his practice, as conscience and judgment may 
direct ; free from the imposing glosses., arbitrary 
mandates, and perverted interpretations of any 
prescribed or exclusive guides ; and can, without 
civil or political disabilities, attach himself to that 
church, sect or party, that appears to him best 
calculated to promote his edification and instruc- 
tion in righteousness, and to conduct him to virtue 
and happiness, to immortality, and to glory. — 
These are unquestionably enviable and inestimable 
blessings: Being common and familiar, "grow- 
ing with our growth and strengthening with tmx. 

* Psalm lxxii. 8/ 



21 

Strength," they are not sufficiently estimated, nor 
gratefully acknowledged. To the generality it 
seldom occurs, that, in other countries, the Scrip- 
tures are a sealed book — that bigotry, intole- 
rance, and infuriate zeal, still maintain a lament- 
able ascendancy, and that a terrible tribunal, dis- 
tinguished by a singular perversion of language, 
by the name of the Holy Office, under the pre- 
tence of maintaining the soundness of the faith, 
extends religious tyranny and persecution to 
thoughts and opinions, and punishes the invo- 
luntary errors of the mind with racks and flames, 
and so far as it can effect it, dooms the souls of 
the unhappy victims of its resentment to eternal 
perdition, [a ) It escapes the recollection of 
the citizens of this day and generation, that they 
are indebted for their religious sentiments solely 
to instruction ; and that, destitute of the Gospel 
and its periodical ministrations, they would be in 
the deplorable state of ignorance that so wretch- 
edly characterises the millions of Asia — the bar- 
barous hordes of Africa — the Indians of this 
Western Continent — and the Savages of the re- 
mote Islands that are scattered in different Oceans; 
who are unacquainted with the character of the 
true God ; strangers to a Redeemer, Mediator and 
Sanctifier — ignorant of an immortal existence, 
devoid of any consistent consolation in death, 
and without any comfortable prospects of a 
blessed immortality when time shall be no more. 

Of a people so eminently distinguished for so 
many positive blessings, and so many signal 
manifestations of the Divine favour and inter- 
ference, it might have been expected, that they 
would have been ever ready to express their con- 

(a.) Vide Note I. 



22 

nexion with and dependence upon the Sovereign 
Disposes of their destinies ; thai they would tes- 
tify a profound reverence for his power and 
greatness, submit with cheerfulness to the dis- 
posals of his will, and cherish the most lively 
gratitude for his numerous mercies. It might 
have been expected, that (hose sages and heroes 
who were, under the smiles and guidance of Hea- 
ven, the instruments of our greatness, would 
have been held in everlasting; remembrance, and 
consecrated in the affections and gratitude of the 

CD 

present and succeeding generations ; that their 
enlightened and enlarged views of policy would 
have been adhered to and acted upon ; that the 
patriotism and integrity of their public conduct 
would have been imitated; and that zeal for the 
maintenance of our natural, social, political and 
religious blessings, would have pervaded the 
minds of every description of our population. 

It is a lamentable reflection that the reverse of 
all this representation is more descriptively and 
characteristically true. It is not to be dissembled 
that levity, profligacy, ingratitude, and contempt 
for every thing serious and sacred, are prevailing- 
vices: Regardless of the consequences, the pro- 
fessors of infidelity, sophistry and perversion, 
have been elevated to offices and appointments 
of great weight and responsibility. The enlight- 
ened views of the protectors and agents of our 
national greatness and prosperity have been mis- 
represented and aspersed, the purity of their 
motives wantonly implicated, every artifice re- 
sorted to, to deprive them of public confidence 
and impair their well earned fame ; and a system 
of political intolerance has been adopted, calcu- 
lated to propagate and maintain alive and active 



23 

party prejudices, factious divisions, and impious 
discontent, to the great injury of social inter- 
course, and tending to generate paroxysms of 
violence, that may, in a moment of exasperated 
feelings, affect the tranquility of our common 
country and the unity of our great system of 
confederation. 

For the accuracy of this representation, an 
appeal is made to fact and experience, to the re- 
collection and conviction of my hearers. It is 
not to be denied, that our transgressions are mul- 
tiplied, and that our sins testify against us :* and 
who can fully detail our various errors, a, J 
enumerate liou eft zee have offended? And so long- 
as these traits of minor obliquities, and malig- 
nant enormities, pervade our character — so long 
is it the bounden and indispensable duty of 
the Christian Monitor, to cry aloud and spare not ; 
to lift up his voice like a trumpet and show the peo- 
ple their transgi essions.f And should his virtu- 
ous and well intended efforts fail to reclaim a 
thoughtless generation and dissolute age, he will 
have the consolation of having faithfully dis- 
charged a sacred and important duty, to which 
God and society have attached authority. If 
thou warn the wicked and he turn not from his 
wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die 
in his iniquity ; hut thou hast delivered thy soul.'l 
Under the influence of a truth so solemn and im- 
pressive, can he forbear applying the remon- 
strance and expostulation of the Almighiv, as 
expressed by his prophet ? Shall not I visit for 
these tilings'/ saith the Lord ; and shall not my 
soul he avenged on such a nation as this ?§ if 

* Isa. lix. 12. + Isa. lviii. 1. JE2ek.iii.1g. §Jer.v.g. 



H 

roused by this threatening expostulation, what 
remains but that we should humble ourselves and 
fray, and seek his face, and turn from our evil 
ways; and then will he hear from Heaven, and 
will forgive our sins and heal our land, that we 
perish not. 

Secondly : Consider those circumstances in the 
aspect of the times, and in the physical condition 
of our country, that have led to the appointment 
of this day's solemnity. Of these the agitated state 
of the moral world, irresistibly attracts and 
claims attention. This is significantly an age of 
fluctuation and revolutionary vicissitudes. — 
Changes the most considerable and unexpected, 
and which, prior to experience, would be deem- 
ed incredible, have taken place in some of the 
ancient dynasties of the earth, with a rapidity 
unequalled in the annals of history. The en- 
ergies of a mightv mind have enabled an aspir- 
ing Chief to avail himself of a combination of 
causes and circumstances favourable to the pro- 
jects of an insatiable ambition, to subvert estab- 
lishments consecrated in the affections of the 
people and sanctioned by the consent of ages; 
and, to erect, on the ruins of subjugated states; a 
military domination the most arbitray and terrific 
that has ever afflicted the condition of mankind. 
The progress of this modern destroyer, from ob- 
scurity to conspicuous and atrocious elevation, 
is marked by scenes of carnage and destruction, 
of intrigue the most seductive, and of corrup- 
tion the most nefarious, that are well calculated 
to excite the apprehension and rouse the guardi- 
an vigilance of all who attach any value to life, 
liberty, and property — religion, security and 
self government. The mysterious triumphs and 



2 5 



successes of this inveterate foe of mankind h.ivc 
brought upon the earth distress of nations and per- 
fiexity ; wen's hearts failing them forfcar, andj&r 
looking after those things whiek are coming on the 
earth* In consequence of the awful ascenden- 
cy which this celebrated Usurper has acquired, 
the world is kept in a state of alarm and agita- 
tion. We hear not only of war and rumours of 
war, continually resounding in our ears, but the 
greatest and most enlightened nations and their 
dependent colonies have been, for a secession of 
years, suffering all the complicated miseries of the 
most furious and destructive warfare. Not satis- 
fied with doing each other all possible injuries, 
they have extended their cruel aggressions and 
devastations far and wide ; and have aspired to in- 
volve theneutral and peaceful nations of the earth 
in the vortex of their destructive conflicts. To 
represent, in appropriate and forcible colours, 
the numberless and nameless cares, alarms and 
agonies, pains, privations and sufferings, scenes 
of carnage, desolation and extensive misery, 
consequent on a state of war, would require "a 
glow of fancy, a reach of thought and compass 
of expression that fall not to our share. All that 
we aspire to impress, is tliat war, is the greatest 
evil that can afflict the communities of mankind, 
and constitutes the extremity of national woe. Ir 
is a scourge of vengeance and of wrath, of exe- 
cutive and retributive justice, which the righte- 
ous Governor of the World employs to chastise 
a guilty and ungrateful people, and to punish 
the offences and crimes thai are, from time to 
time, and from age to age, commuted agains; 
him. 

* Luke xxi. 25. 26. 

D 



The judgments of God are now extensively and 
alarmingly abroad in the earth. They have in- 
volved our foreign relations — extended embar- 
rassment and division to our legislative councils, 
and affected our national prosperity. They have 
originated measures which by their reactions have 
produced evils of an incalculable extent and se- 
verity. Their pressure is sensibly felt, feelingly 
acknowledged, and loudly deplored. The dis- 
cordant voice of bitter lamentation is reiterated 
from every quarter. The aspect of the times is 
indeed lowering. The cloud that darkens our 
political horizon appears gloomy and ominous. 
It threatens to explode with destructive violence 
on our happy land. It presents a prospect which 
no eye can penetrate, and exhibits a maze which 
no penetration can unravel. The lime is come, the 
day of trouble is nearr A day of wrath and dis- 
tress, a day of ivasteness and desolation, a day of 
clouds and thick darkness.f In the course of the 
revolving year there may be required of all and 
each of us, the greatest efforts of patriotism and 
perseverance; uncommon displays of faith and 
firmness, and incalculable sacrifices of blood and 
treasure ; to repel the aggressions of every in- 
vading foe; to remove fir off the northern army, 
and drive Mm into a land barren and desolate;^ 
and to maintain the independence, the honor, 
the union, and the salvation of our Republican 
institutions. 

The threatening aspect of the times, connect- 
ed with those commotions which affect the phy- 
sical tranquillity of our country, constitutes a 
crisis sufficiently alarming. These commotions 
by their novelty, extent, frequency, and force, 

* Ezek. vii. 7. t Zep. i. 15. % Joel ii. 20. 



27 

cannot fail to arrest the attention of the most 
careless — excite the sensibility of the most cal- 
lous — and lead the most thoughtless to confess 
and fear that invisible and mysterious Being, who 
lookcth on the earth and it trcmblelh, and who 
toiuhcih the hills and they smoke* 

These commotions seem to be inseparable from 
the constitution of our earth. They have obtain- 
ed in all ages, and affected with more or less fre- 
quency and force, distant and different portions 
of the globe. They are so formidable and irre- 
sistable, as to desolate the face of nature, over- 
whelm cities, and bury man and his works in one 
vast grave of destruction. To these commotions 
are to be ascribed those spectacles of ruin and 
disfigured irregularities — islands separated by vi- 
olence from their adjacent continents — shattered 
mountains, frightful precipices, putrid marshes, 
and desolate wastes, which present themselves 
every where to the \ iew. In other ages, as well 
as in our own times, considerable portions of na- 
ture have sunk and disappeared, and islands have 
emerged from the abyss in a frightful, state of 
ruin and ignition. One of these convulsions of 
nature has been attended with supernatural ap- 
pearances. The sacred historian relates, that 
when Jesus had yielded up the ghost, there was 
darkness over all the land, and behold the vail of 
the temple was rent in twain from the top to the 
bottom : and the earth did quake and the rocks rent, 
and the graves were opened and many bodies of the 
saints which slept arose and came out of the graves 
and went into the holy city and appeared to many.f 

We are not to imagine that the Almighty ef- 
fects these destructive throes by his own immedi- 

* Psalm civ. 32. t Math, xxvii. 50, $1, 52, 53. 



28 

ate agency. In (fiese as in other cases, he acts by 
the ministry of second causes. He has ordained 
that certain causes should ever produce certain 
effects — he has attached to mineral substances, 
vegetable recrements, and animal remains, sub- 
siding and operating agreeably to the laws of 
gravity and chemical action, the property of 
fermenting, generating heat, and producing fire, 
in the interior parts of the earth. It is the ap- 
pointed condition of things, that bodies in a 
state of heat and combustion should, in general, 
extend their dimensions, and suffer a decompo- 
sition of their parts. This enlargment of their 
dimensions and alteration of their forms, cannot 
well be effected without disturbing the quiescence 
of the surrounding mass of substances. Should 
water, filtrating through the fissures and crevices 
of the earth, come in contact with these burn- 
ing materials, vapor is evolved of a peculiarly 
elastic and expansive force. This vapor, so rare- 
fied, is one of the most powerful agents that we 
are acquainted with in nature. We can prescribe 
no reasonable limits to its power. Increase the 
temperature and you increase its expansive force 
without limitations: and this rarefied vapor, so 
generated in the central parts of the earth, is a 
cause adequate to produce, under the direction 
of a superintending influence, those earthquakes 
and volcanic eruptions which desolate the face of 
nature— overwhelm cities, spread terror and 
dismay far and wide; destroy men and animals, 
and involve the innocent and the guilty, in one 
common ruin, by their vast concussions. (b ) Mys- 
terious, uncertain and past finding out, as may 
be these tremendous convulsions in their origin 

(*.) Vide Npte II. 



29 

and formation, they are visible, certain and fsr 

tensively destructive in their immediate efie 
They forcibly address the senses, and irresisti- 
and by a natural impulse affect the hearts of meet. 
They are eminently calculated to convey ade- 
quate conceptions of the Divine power and 
energy, and present memorable instances of the 
most afflictive of the Divine dispensations. A 
considerable portion of our fellow-citizens have 
recently suffered many of the complicated mar- 
ries consequent upon these alarming com; 
tions, and it would appear that their cup of af- 
fliction is not exhausted. (c) And what further and 
still greater disasters, are intended to be effected! 
by these awful visitations, it is not permitted for 
us to conjecture. Vain and presumptuous would 
be the attempt to unveil the mysteries of the 
Most High, and to trace the hidden ways of kH 
Providence : for as the heave?is are higher them 
the earth, so are Cod's ways higher than our ways, 
and his thouglds than our thoughts f It is a 
more solemn and appropriate duty — one more 
suited to our limited sphere and contracted 
views — to reverence and adore the Great Cre- 
ator in his works ; to submit in silence and with 
pious acquiescence to his will and mysterious 
dispensations ; to humble ourselves before him, to 
pray and seek his face, and turn from our evil 
ways, and who can tell if God will repent and turn 
from his fierce anger, and will heal our land, that 
we perish rao&J And this was the 

Second thing proposed : To enforce the con- 
duct incumbent upon us, to avert the threaten- 
ing dispensations of Providence, as they are 
manifested in the aspect of the times, and in the 

(c.) Vide Note III. t Isa. lv. 9. * Jon. iii. 9. 



physical condition of our country. And herd 
those very threatening^ connected with our de- 
pendent, frail and sinful condition, direct our 
thoughts to that invisible and All-Potent Being, 
ivho doeih whatsoever he pleaseth in Heaven and in 
earth, in the sea and all deep places ;* and who eh- 
eth according to his will in the army of Heaven, and 
among the. inhabitants of the earth.j- The very- 
idea of a Creator implies the doctrine of a supers- 
intending Providence. They cannot be separat- 
ed in imagination, The one seems to infer the 
other, as the effect does the cause that produced 
it, and as the shade does the substance that pro- 
lects it. The least transient view of the vast 
fabric of things discovers profound intelligence, 
mvsterious wisdom, and diffusive goodness ; 
beauty, order, and magnificence — a happy ad- 
justment of parts, and a skilful combination of 
means, accomplishing the most appropriate pur- 
poses, and affording a demonstration the most 
convincing and consoling of a constant, bene- 
volent agency, and a continual Providential care; 
and hence, and in confirmation of this soothing 
and consoling doctrine, the celestial spheres go 
their everlasting rounds, without interference, or 
wandering from their prescribed courses ; the 
tides observe their appointed fluxes and refluxes; 
the vicissitudes of day and night maintain their 
stated revolutions ; the expected returns of the 
seasons, and the autumnal decay and vernal re- 
novation of vegetables, have never yet failed 
upon the earth. These are instances of a gene- 
ral Providence conducted on a large scale. The 
same agency and care are conspicuous in minuter 
circumstances. The most apparently insignifi- 

* Psalm exxxv. 6. t Darw iv, 35. 



3i 

cant parts of nature have their use in the gene- 
ral system of things, and as some significant pur- 
pose is evidently accomplished by every thing 
that is created, so some adequate end is intended 
to be effected by every tiling that comes to pass. 
A sparrow falls not to the ground without a suffi- 
cient cause, and the hairs of our heads are num- 
bered for specific reasons. In minor incidents, 
the intentions and interference of Providence 
are less apparent and striking, than in those great- 
er and more momentous events and vicissitudes, 
which affect the destinies of mankind. The 
storm and the tempest, the -volcano and the hur- 
ricane ,the tornado {d) and the earthquake, irresisti- 
bly arrest attention, and lead us to ascribe these 
appearances to a superior power and superin- 
tending Providence. 

In the government of his vast dominions the 
Deity evidently acts agreeably to a system of 
wise and righteous laws. These laws, physical as 
well as moral, have for their object the diffusion 
of happiness and prevention of misery. If men 
wantonly transgress laws prescribed for their go- 
vernment, and perversely counteract the bene- 
volent institutions of Providence, and the dispen- 
sitions of his grace, which were intended to pro- 
mote and secure their happiness, th Divine 
attribute of justice requires that ihey shpuld suf- 
fer the appointed penalties of dis edience;. — 
To fulfil his purposes in this strange lootk of pun- 
ishment he has recourse to the ministry of second 
causes. He employs war, famine, and pestilence; 
the elements and the frame of nature — as instru- 
ments of his wrath, to punish individuals and 
communities, in the degree and in the manner, 

(■/.) Vide Note IV. 



f ? may best comport "with the demerit of their 
defences, and the plans and purposes of his Pro- 
vidence. Numberless are the facts and circum- 
stances that support and confirm this conclusion. 
The general tenor and strain of sacred and pro- 
fane history concur in evidence, and present 
ar£ interesting and instructive commentary on the 
tn.nh of this part of the Divine procedure ; that a 
sinful and ungrateful people never fail sooner or 
later to suffer some signal reverses of circum- 
stances and afflictive dispensations It were end- 
less to specify the many awful examples of the 
Divine vengeance., recorded for our admonition 
and warning. To refer to them would be to 
clef nil, in substance, the melancholy history of 
human sufferings. Some instances of this des- 
cription are so memorable as to have arrested 
universal attention and are fresh in every re- 
collection. The antedeluvians, for their wick- 
ed practices and abominations, were extirpat- 
ed from the face of the earth by a universal 
deluge, The depraved and licentious cities of 
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from 
Heaven. The oppressor Pharaoh, and the nefa- 
rious instruments of his cruelty and exactions, 
were drowned in an exemplary and wonderful 
manner in the Red-Sea. Korah, Da than, and 
Abiram, and their wicked associates came to a 
fearful termination; — the ground clave asunder 
Hud t;:as under them ; they and all that appertained 
ia them went down attic into the pit, and the earth 
dosed upon them and tiny/ perished* And that 
singular and ill-fated people, the descendants of 
Abraham, exhibit, to the contemplative observer, 
a living, and a moving miracle of the Divine 

* Numb. xvi. 31, 33, 



33 

iifldjsme&ts. As it was foretold of them three 
thousand years ago, the Lord has scattered them 
among all nations from one end of the earth even 
unto the ollur* And they arc become an astonish- 
ment, a proverb, and a bye-word among all na- 
tions,^ without a King, and without a Prince, and 
without an Image, and without an Ephod, and 
without a Teraphim% In the destruction of their 
magnificent temple, once the wonder of the 
world ; in the dissolution of their civil polity ; and, 
still more remarkably, in their dispersion and 
calamitous sufferings, they are fulfilling their own 
ancient prophecies, and confirming the truth of 
the Scriptures to the confusion of Infidels, and 
to the instruction of all who behold them.(e) 
These affecting instances of the exemplary pun- 
ishments of the wicked and impenitent, se- 
lected from the sacred writings, acquire force 
and impression, from the circumstances of the 
passing times. The nations of Europe, " that 
abounding theatre of great action, and that clas- 
sic ground" of science, ingenuity, and enterprise, 
have suffered, and are still enduring unutterable 
woes. Those measures, and tragical events, 
which appear to us so calamitous and so much 
calculated to wring the heart of sensibilitv, are 
assuredly fulfilling and accomplishing the designs 
and purposes of Providence. Could we com- 
prehend the chain of events, and trace them in 
their causes, connexion and consequences, we 
could not fail to discover, that in their revolu- 
tionary and afflictive vicissitudes, they are ex- 
piating their heinous and daring sins, their 
blasphemies and profaneness, their contempt of 
every thing sacred and serious, their pride, pre- 

Drit, xxviii, 64. tlb. 37. £Hoseaiii. 4. (?) Vide Note V. 

E 



34 

sumption, and their ingratitude, their crimes and 
enormities. And what shall be the end of these 
wonders ? or, when shall the career of destruction 
and' domination be arrested ? — are question? 
which it is not permitted us to answer. From 
what we certainly know of the Divine procedure, 
we would conclude, that when these guilty and 
corrupted nations are sufficiently humbled, by 
the discipline of affliction, and purified by suf- 
ferings, they shall yet remember and turn to the 
Lord, and acknowledge that he is governor among 
the nations ;* that order will yet spring up from 
confusion, and light from darkness, calculated 
eventually to accelerate the improvement, ex- 
tend the comforts, and secure the- happiness of 
the human race. 

This display of the fearful reactions of the Divine 
displeasure against sin for the terror of evil doers, 
connected with those traits of levity, ingratitude, 
irreligion, and moral obliquities, that pervade 
our character, and those threatenings in the as- 
pect of the times, and' physical condition of our 
country-, forcibly inculcates the observance of 
this day, for the purpose of Religious Reflection, 
Humiliation and Prayer — the purpose of confess- 
ing and lamenting with real penitence and con- 
trition, our presumptuous transgressions, criminal 
indigencies, and secret faidts — the purpose of 
departing from irriquity, and renouncing Jellow- 
ship with the unfruitful works of darkness — the 
purpose of setting our affections on things ahovt\ 
and cherishing ardour of devotion, sincerity of 
faith, and confidence in Christ. This holy dis- 
cipline is the appointed means of conciliating 
the favour and attaining the protection of the 

* Psalm xxii. 27, 28. 



85 

Most Hrghj of securing an interest in the aton- 
ing efficacy of the oblation of him who died for 
our sins and rose again for our justification, and 
our bebt preparation for a happy eternity. The 
judgments of Cod are standing admonitions; and. 
if permitted to operate according to their moral 
tendency, cannot fail to produce ihe best moral 
eftects. The heart on which they produce no 
good impressions and abiding influences, may not 
inaptly be compared to the stony ground in 
'which the seed sown perishes for want of vege- 
tation ; it is the barren fig-tree, which the dew 
and watering of Heaven having failed to fructify, 
draws down upon itself a curse of destruction. 

The attributes of mercy and compassion, of 
patience and forbearance, are essential to the 
Divine character. In the exercise of these en- 
dearing perfections, the Deity has declared, at 
sundry times, and in divers manners, that he has 
no pleasure in the death of the wicked and im- 
penitent ; but rather delights, that he should 
turn from the error of his ways and live : Nay, 
he exhorts and expostulates in a strain the most 
affectionate and pathetic, turn ye, turn ye, from, 
your evil ways, for why will ye die* Of this 
disposition to protract the period of probation, 
to spare the wicked and impenitent for a season, 
and afford them time and space for repentance, 
the existence of man and the history of his 
transgressions afford one continued demonstra- 
tion. Of the .efficacy of this merciful economy, 
the engaging narrative, which was read as the 
Scripture of the day, furnishes a memorable in- 
stance.f The citizens of Nineveh had corrupted 
'heir ways. A special preacher of righteousne. 

*Erek. xxxiii. 11. tjon. Hi. iv. 



36 

was commissioned and sent to announce to them 
the Divine displeasure and determination ; and 
yet forty days and ISinevah shall be overthrown. — 
Under these threatening and impending judg- 
ments, they proclaimed and observed a rigour- 
ous fast Their scenes of festivity they convert- 
ed into mourning, and their songs of revelry 
and intemperance into strains of lamentation — 
7 hey covered themselves with sackcloth, and sat in 
ashes, the habiliments and emblems of deep sor- 
row and unfeigned contrition; and cried mightily 
unto the Lord, that he would turn away from his 
fierce anger, and spate them that they might not 
perish. The Great Searcher of Hearts, who can- 
not be deceived by appearances, knowing that 
their humility and penitence were real and not 
fictitious, spared that great city, wherein were 
wore than six score thousand persons that could not 
discern between their right hand and their left 
Jiand, and also much cattle. It were nugatory to 
refer to remote ages and past events, for signal 
instances of the Divine forbearance ; who is there, 
that, in the intervals of seclusion and sober re- 
flection, considers the number of his offences, 
the variety of his errors, and his manifold infir- 
mities, in their guilt, malignity and aggravation, 
that can fail to have his sensibility feelingly and 
strongly excited, or that can fail to conclude that 
God has long and patiently, leniently and indul- 
gently, extended his day of grace and merciful 
visitation, and that it is because his compassions 
fail not that he is not consumed* This conviction 
tends naturally to produce that humility or self- 
abasement, which is the first in the scale of 
Christian virtues; a grace, in the Divine estima- 

* Lam. iii. 22. 



37 

tion, of inestimable value; a disposition peculiar- 
ly becoming our frail and sinful condition, and 
that eminently qualifies us for duly estimating 
the benefits of our divine religion, and embrac- 
ing, with true faith and lively gratitude, the m\ - 
terics of the incarnation, the atonement, ana 
intercession. Repentance, founded upon faith 
in the atoning efficacy of the Divine satisfaction 
and intercession of Jesus, is the grand remedy 
provided against sin — it is the appointed means 
of reconciliation., a good tidings of great joy unto 
nil people, and a grace of God that bringeth salva- 
tion. 

To excite a sense of guilt, and to generate a 
penitent disposition, the standing and the ap- 
pointed means are — the dictates of reason, the 
monitions of conscience, the suggestions of grace, 
the reproofs, the threatenings, warnings and de- 
nunciations of Scripture, and the periodical ex- 
hortations of a weekly ministry. If these means 
should prove ineffectual to lead men to humble 
themselves and pray, and seek his face, and turn 
from their evil ways, the Deity has recourse to 
other expedients, and visits them with sickness, 
sorrow, and distress, the ravages of fire, the deso- 
lations of the pestilence, the miseries of famine, 
and the devastations of tempests, hurricanes and 
tornadoes ; and, as if these had hitherto proved 
unavailing to reclaim us, to religion and good- 
ness, from our evil way, and the violence that is in 
our hands, he has now, in these last days, threat- 
ened us with the overwhelming destruction of 
earthquakes. Of the destruction effected by 
these awful convulsions of nature, in other ages 
and countries, we attempt not any detail, (f ) 

(/) Vide Note VI. 



3« 



Finae would fail us to enumerate the thousands 
and tens of thousand:, of human beings, and the 
numberless and invaluable monuments of genius 
and of art, that have irretrievably perished bv 
these terrible commotions ; and, who is qualified 
ito conceive and describe, the dismay and con- 
sternation, the terrors and agonies, the mutila- 
tions, sufferings and .multiplied miseries, conse- 
quent on these dreadful paroxysms of nature ? — 
Of all terrible things, it has been said, that death 
is the most terrible ; and sudden death, as in- 
volving consequences of an eternal moment, has 
ever been considered as an evil incalculably great. 
in that solemn and affecting crisis, when the 
spirit of man is about to take its flight — to bid 
an everlasting adieu to this fair creation, and 
all those scenes, pursuits and associates, that once 
interested his feelings, attached his affections, 
and engrossed so much of his time, care and 
thoughts — who is there that possesses a particle 
of intellect or sensibility, that would not wish to 
enjoy an interval of leisure, "one short hour at 
last" for calm and undisturbed reflection; to take 
a deliberate retrospect of life ; to consider the 
part he had acted in it ; to bewail his sins and 
follies; implore mercy and forgiveness; to che- 
rish faith, hope and charity; and prepare himself, 
by some holy and salutary discipline, for the 
destinies of the invisible world, the vision of his 
God, and the society of those sanctified spirits 
who are to be his associates forever and forever 
in the mansions of glory. It is not the least for- 
midable of the visitations accompanying these 
alarming evils, that they deprive men of cir- 
cumstances so desirable and propitious. If the 
obscurest individual that drops into the grave. 



39 

by the sudden visitation of God, excites the 
commiseration and the sympathy of the specta- 
tors, and produces in them some transient emo- 
tions of sorrow, Great God ! what aching regrets 
and tender concerns, should the reflection' gene 
rate in us, that myriads of our fellow-creatures 
have passed to the dominions of the dead, and 
their final condition of being, in a moment, 
without warning and preparation, by these cala- 
mitous visitations. And what anxiety and dread, 
yea, what fear and trembling:, is the cons:d'ra» 
tion calculated to inspire, that we too are -vf 
moment in danger, perhaps at the dark and si. enT 
hour of midnight, of being precipitated, by 
similar overwhelming catastrophes, to our eter- 
nal destinies, " unanointed and unanealed, With 
all our imperfections- on our heads." — if the 
commissioned angel of death and destruction 
were to swtar by him that liveth forever and 
ever, and to announce in a voice of thunder to 
this assembly, " that this moment the earth will 
cleave asunder under you, and that you and all 
that appertain to you are to go down alive into 
the pit to be no more seen ;" what terror and 
despair would seize the worshippers ? How ar- 
dentlv would they plead for the life of their souls, 
and pray — save us, O Ccd, that we perish not. 

These are some of the manifold considerations 
that might be uroed to enforce the observance 
of this day's solemnity, for the purposes of Re- 
ligious Reflection, Humiliation and Prayer, to 
avert those threatenins: evils which exhibit them- 
selves in the aspect of the times, and the physical 
condition of our country. As an encouragement 
to the faithful and conscientious discharge ofthese 
duties, the Almighty haspledgedthe veracity of his 



40 

promises, that they will not be unavailing. If my 
people, who are called by my name, shah humble 
themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn 
from tlieir evil ways ; then will 1 hear from Hea- 
ven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their 
land. 

To heal our land, the Great Moral Physician of 
mankind has prescribed the discipline of humili- 
ty, repentance, and the much neglected prescrip- 
tion of prayer, and seeking his face. J he ejjectn- 
al fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 
much* Distinguished as we are for levity, prof- 
ligacy, and irreligion, yet still we believe, that 
numbers are to be found among us unconfami- 
nated by the prevailing vices of the times — 
numbers who cherish the most elevated and hal- 
lowed conceptions of the Divine nature and cha- 
racter, and who verify their conceptions by tes- 
tifying a becoming reverence and regard for 
every thing connected with his name, his wor- 
ship, his sanctuary, and his sabbath — numbers 
who entertain the most rational and profound 
views of the economy of grace, and the myste- 
ries of the incarnation ; who duly appreciate and 
jrratefullv acknowledge the manifold blessings 
which accrue to us from the appearance of Christ 
in the human character, and who are what they 
profess to be, Christians in truth and in reality — 
numbers who are conspicuous for the most ex- 
tensive intelligence, lofty patriotism, and un- 
sullied honor; and numbers who are eminent for 
all those charities which endear us to each other, 
and which add lustre and dignity to the human 
character. The effectual fervent prayer and well 
directed efforts of all such, connected with 

* James v, 16. 



41 

general humility and repentance, would yet 
heal our land, restore wisdom and unity, energj 
and vigour to our national councils, prevent the 
impending calamities of war, and :ivert from our 
country, the threatening judgments of the Al- 
mighty. 

Thirdly and lastly : it was proposed, to sub- 
join such reflections as the consideration of the 
subject, and the solemnitvof the dav might sug- 
gest. 

1st — Having, hitherto, been, happily, strang- 
ers to the alarming and destructive concus- 
sions, that are adverted to in the preceding sec- 
tions, they have created, in some instances, by 
their novelty and force, an impression, as if the 
mysterious Author of things, who had hitherto 
preserved these regions in an orderly and tran- 
quil state, were about to descend to visit the 
earth, to crush its sinful inhabitants, and dis- 
solve the fair fabric of the world. That the 
system of the universe, is destined, at some future 
period, to suffer a dissolution of its structure, is 
an opinion rendered probable from physical con- 
siderations. We see that everv thing, which is 
organized and compounded of parts, tends to 
decay and suffers a dissolution of its substance. 
The analogy of nature in the appointed course 
of things, leads us to conclude that a 'fabric so 
complex as this world evidently is, is liable to 
the same vicissitudes. The sacred writers make 
frequent and significant allusions, to the end of 
all tiling * Saint John, in the Book of Revela- 
tion, announces the annihilation of time, and 
consequcnily the destriicti n of the world, in 
this solemn and impressive manner. And the 

* ist Pet. iv. -. 

F 



42 

angel which I saw standing upon the sea, and wg&ti 
the earth, lifted up his hands to Heaven, and swear 
bit him that liveih forever and ever, tliat there shall 
he time no longer * And, that the subjoined pas- 
sage, from the Gospel of Saint Mathew, refers 
exclusively to the final consummation of things, 
is the deliberate opinion of one of the most 
distinguished critics and accomplished scholars 
of the last age It is a passage which has been 
frequently quoted with triumph, as having no 
parallel in any writer, ancient or modern, sacred 
or profane, for figurative and sublime, solemn 
and impressive description. Immediately after 
the tribulation of those days shall the sun he dark- 
ened, and the moon shall not give her light, and 
the stars shall fall from Heaven, and the power of 
Heaven shall be shaken, and then shall appear the 
sign of the sun of man in Heaven, and then shall 
all the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall 
see the son of man coming in the clouds of Heaven 
with power and great glory, and he shall send his 
angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they 
shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one 
end of Heaven to the other. f 

Astronomers have imagined the this grand 
catastrophe of nature, here referred to, will be 
effected by the impulse of a comet It is not 
to be doubted that, should one of these majesiic 
wanderers, in the course of its revolution, come 
in contact with our earth, it would effect 
some signal disaster, but this it would accomplish 
more by the force of its momentum than the 
state of its combustion or quantity of ignition. 
That these erratic bodies, which attract so much 
attention, and which, in less enlightened ages, 

* Rev. x. 5, t Math, xxiv, 29. 



43 

I -routed so much idle speculation, and have been 
the object of so many superstitious terrors, are 
masses of lire, is a mere assumption and not 
supported bv any adequate evidence. 

The Almighty is not limited in resources 
to accomplish his purposes. lie who said, let 
there be light, and there ivas light ; who spake and 
it was dune, can give a projectile force and mo- 
mentum to a grain of sand adequate to effect 
the destruction of ten thousand worlds. The 
probability is that the seeds of destruction are 
interwoven with and inseparable from, the frame 
and constitution of our earth. The element of 
lire is extensively diffused throughout all the parts 
of nature, in an active or latent state. From se- 
venty to eighty burning mountains are for ever 
emitting from their summits volumes of inflamed 
gas and liquid lava, often to the destruction of 
the adjacent countries, and always to the con- 
sternation of the inhabitants. Shut up these 
tremendous vents, and the result would, probably, 
be, that this ponderous earth would be convuls- 
ed to its centre, and scattered in fragments into 
empty space, to furnish materials for a new world 
destined to roll by other laws. The sacred writ- 
ers assert in terms too explicit to be misunder- 
stood, that the destruction of this world will be 
effected by the agency of fire. Ihe Heavens and 
the earth which are now, argues Saint Peter, are 
kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day 
of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men* — - 
Earthquakes and volcanoes may be the appointed 
means, under the direction of Providence, to 
effect at some future period, this destruction ; 
and they may be intended, in the mean time, by 

* 2d Peter iii. 7. 



44 

their occasional and alarming appearances, to 
produce religious impressions and moral good 
effects, by reminding sinful man that the dm/ of 
the Lord will come as a thief in the night, m the 
which the heavens shall pass away with a great 
noise and the elements melt with fervent heat ; the 
earth also, and the works tliat arc therein shall be 
burnt tip* 

Revelation has not informed us, and no de- 
ductions of reason, no discoveries in science, or 
theories of philosophy, will ever be able to as- 
certain the day and the hour when these things 
shall be. It is a question of idle curiosity, a 
secret which belongs to the Lord our God, the so- 
lution and disclosure of which would probably 
answer no purpose of edification and instruction 
in righteousness. All that we are chiefly concern- 
ed to know is, that there is a period decreed in 
the records of heaven for this very purpose, and 
that it will assuredly in due time arrive, and come 
too, like a thitf in the night, when least expect- 
ed. The awful uncertainty of the time when 
this decree will be accomplished, and the equally 
awful certainty that it will be accomplished, 
forcibly inculcate the necessity of being always 
prepared for the solemn event, whether it ap- 
proach us, in the gradual decay of nature, or in 
the more violent attacks of disease — whether it 
visit us in the convulsions of the elements or in 
the ruin of conflicting worlds. For the appointed 
process of death and dissolution., is to all and 
each of us, the end of all things. As the tree 
falleth so it shall be found lying; as death shall 
then leave men, so judgment shall find them, in 
a sinful or sanctified, in a penitent or impeni- 

ad Peter iii. ic*» 



45 

I condition, destined to enter, without any 
prospect of change, upon their appointed por- 
tion of joy or of sorrow. There is not in the 
circle of speculation, to a considerate and hu- 
mane mind, a more alarming reflection than this 
n\ L.terious uncertainty, which embraces conse- 
quences of such vast extent and importance, as 
our eternal interests; and yet it creates no ade- 
quate or consistent attention. The generality of 
mankind live in a state of stoical insensibility or 
thoughtless indifference, as if they knew it not. 
Regardless of the consequences, they continue 
the career of folly or active wickedness, as if 
their present condition of being were secure 
from the assaults of disease, casualties and death. 
They see the associates of their youth, and the 
friends of their riper years, the fair, the vigor- 
ous and the accomplished, without distinction of 
age, sex, or condition, passing from off this 
theatre of things, by an endless variety of ave- 
nues ; and some becoming, by a singular fatality, 
the lamentable victims of floods and. freshes, hor- 
ribly devoured by t /7rt;wcs,(,g ) or dreadfullyswallow- 
ed up by earthquakes, at an hour alas they k now not, 
without ever reflecting that they themselves are 
liable to similar premature and disastrous vicis- 
situdes. The natural brevity and the precarious 
condition of human life is a persuasion that uni- 
versally obtains. To know this, is indeed una- 
voidable, but it is indulged as a matter of specu- 
lative belief, and seldom applied consistently, or 
to any useful purpose. The lamentable consi- 
deration is, that men do not seriously believe it, 
and do not heartilv embrace it, as a grand prin- 
ciple of living well. Were the influence of this 
(g) Vide Note VII. 



4 6 

fearful uncertainty, and the awful consequences 
which it involves, as extensive as its evidence is 
certain and irresistible, it would produce the 
most salutary good effects, in temper and gene 
ral conduct. It would produce repentance to- 
wards God, faith in the Gospel of Christ, and 
charity towards men. It would render them dili- 
gent and faithful in the discharge of every in- 
cuiiibent duty. In this state of vigilance and 
active preparation, should the Almighty descend 
to visit them with death, or the dissolution of 
nature, it would matter not. He would find 
them fearing him, and working righteousness ;* 
keeping themselves pure,'\ and doing the tiling, which 
is right ;% with their. loins girded about, and their 
lamps burning, waiting for their Lord§ 

jndly — The commotions which have recent- 
ly affected the physical tranquillity of a sec- 
lion of our country by their vastness, frequency, 
and force, displayed manifestations of the power 
and greatness of God, which, to us, in these 
agitated regions, are new and uncommon, and 
they have produced a consequent revival of the 
religious sentiment in many minds. It is not 
asserted, or intended to be insinuated, that this 
sentiment once acquired (h) is ever extinct in the 
human heart. Scenes of pleasure and amuse- 
ment, of business, and criminal indulgence, may 
dissipate or stifle it for a period, but it is so con- 
genial to the mind of man that it can never be 
wholly eradicated. The sublime and splendid 
machinery of things is eminently calculated to 
generate and maintain alive the sentiment of a 
presiding Divinity, and all those religions im- 

* Act. x. 35. + 1st Tim. v. 22. 

+ Deut. xv. 26. \ Luke xii. 35. (i) Vide Note VIII 



47 

pressions that arc inseparable from it. To the 
loss contemplative and discerning, the grand fea- 
tures and striking scenes of nature present no 
(heme lor admiration, and produce no conse- 
quent elevation of thought : they are become 
familiar, and being never new to them, they 
have not the force of novelty to attract attention 
and produce adaquate surprise; but, let the 
Great Author of things exhibit new {unctions 
and evolutions in his works, and they will in- 
stantly attract universal attention, and if calcu- 
lated to affect the destinies of mankind, by any 
awful or afflictive vicissitudes, they will produce 
a revolution in their sentiments, temper, and 
general conduct. So significantly true is this, 
that place the most celebrated for direliction of 
principle and reprobation of conduct, in circum- 
stances of imminent danger, or under the pres- 
sure of some signal and sudden calamity, and he 
will instantaneously become an altered bein^: — ■ 
he will acquire a new train of thoughls and sen- 
timents, and be led by a natural and irresistible 
impulse to pray in a tone of fervency and so- 
lemnity — God help me ! God preserve me ! and God 
deliver me! — Attempt to amuse him with the 
sneers of the libertine and the stale jests of the 
profane ; affect to represent the ideas of an im- 
mortal existence, and the eternal destinies of the 
righteous and the wicked, as the fancies of the 
enthusiast and the Fabrications of the crafty, and 
he will consider you as a cruel and insensible in- 
truder, disposed to trifle with his feelings; to 
dis ipate his hopes and fears ; to mislead his 
natural apprehensions and anticipations ; and 
pervert the soundest dictates of his understand- 
ing. These facts and circumstances concur, and 



48 

serve instead of a thousand arguments, to estab- 
lish the position, that the religious sentiment, if 
not instinctively, is deeply rooted in the human 
heart, and that, however thoughtlessly and wick- 
edly men may have lived and acted, vet in the 
solemn hour of dissolution, in the moments 
of extreme peri), in the prospect of being 
swallowed up by earthquakes, or entombed in 
volcanic lava, they are ready enough to lift up 
their souls, and all that is within them, to the 
Great Creator and Preserver of all things, 



in 



whom they live and move and have their being. — • 
Know ye therefore this God of your fathers, and 
serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind* 
*4nd if you earnesthj seek his.face, he will heal your 
land, and so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 

srdly — The manifestations of the Divine pow- 
er and greatness, which the late physical com- 
motions of vast sections of our country display- 
ed, excited corresponding sentiments of rever- 
ence, fear, and awe, in the minds of the inhabi- 
tants of the agitated districts. The religious 
sentiment of the divine fear is a rational complex 

1 

principle. It proceeds from correct conceptions 
of the natural and moral attributes of the Deity, 
as they are exerted in the righteous and equita- 
ble government of his creatures : and from ap- 
propriate views of the frail, dependent, and sin- 
ful condition of man, as accountable to him in 
his religious and moral capacities. It is a filial 
reverence, a sacred and pious awe, accompanied 
by a just confidence in his mercy, goodness, and 
fatherly care, and bv an equally just dread of 
incurring his displeasure, by any deliberate de- 
parture from the prescribed paths of duty and 

3 st Chro. xxviii. o. 



49 

obedience. It is a sober and active principle, 
that infuses seriousness and solemnity into the 
character, proves the source of every virtue and 
the parent of universal obedience. This Divine 
principle banishes levity and profaneness, ope- 
rates as the best security against the intrusions 
of* vice, and as the most effectual restraints 
against the commission of crimes. So loner as 
this sacred principle pervades the heart, there is 
still some hope of the sinners reclamation to 
goodness. The root of virtue is still in the 
ground, and may yet bring forth fruits unto 
holiness, and attain in the end everlasting life. 
Extinguish this principle, and then indeed is the 
axe laid to the root of the tice; — The sinners case 
isbecomedesperate; — There is nothing to reclaim 
him to virtue, and nothing to restrain him from 
vice; — [lis ruin is sealed beyond repairing, and 
his condition becomes more deplorable than im- 
agination can conceive or language can repre- 
sent. 

This religious principle, this far of God, has 
no relation to any wild or extravagant notions. 
There is, in it, nothing dreadful, gloomy, or ter- 
rific, — nothing slavish, overwhelming, or oppres- 
sive It has no affinity to that terror and dismay, 
which conscious guilt, a sense of imminent 
danger, and the prospect of inevitable des- 
truction, by some awful or afflictive vicissitude, 
are calculated to inspire This is the terror of the 
world that worketh death. It is confessed, that 
these alarming concussions and visitations of 
nature, are eminentl) calculated to produce fear 
and consternation, by their novelty, extent, and 
force ; and if, at the Divine presence, the pillars of 
Heaven and the foundations of the earth tremble ; 

G 



5° 

and are astonished at his reproof ;* and, if there 
he be none that can understand the thunder of his 
powei ,f that person's sensibility is not much to 
be envied or admired, -who does not feel more 
or less affected by these paroxysms of nature. — 
They are peculiarly and significantly calculated 
to impress upon the mind the idea and the fear 
of that mysterious and invisible Being, who is 
everv where present and every where active, and 
who answereth from the secret place of thunder.'^. 
Awful indeed are the manifestations of the Di- 
vine power and greatness that are incessantly pre- 
senting themselves to our view in the natural 
and moral world, and most forcibly do they 
inculcate the admonition of the Psalmist — Let all 
the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of 
the world stand in awe of him.§ And unto man 
lie said, behold the fear of the Lord, this is wisdom, 
and to depart from evil this is understanding. \\ 

4thly — Those alarming commotions, which dis- 
turbed the physical tranquillity of territories of 
vast extent of surface and variety of soil, com- 
municated a collected frame of mind and solemn 
cast of thought to the inhabitants of the affected 
districts. This was sensibly visible in their 
general appearance ; in the strain of their con- 
versation ; and in a more guarded deportment ; 
particularly during the prevalence and severity 
of these convulsive throes. In their first inter- 
views, these concussions constituted the incessant 
theme of discourse. Their violence, duration, 
progress, and bearings, were minutely described. 
The sensible effects which they produced ; the 
sensations, affections and fears, which they ex- 

* Job ix. 6. t lb. xxvi. 11, 14. ^ Psalm Ixxxi. 7. 

$ Psalm xxxiii. 8. f] Job xxviii. 28. 



51 

cited, were circumstantially detailed, and the 
awful uncertainty, that they knew not what 
signal disasters the next shock might effect, pro- 
pogated the sympathy of common danger, and 
concurred to render them, during those periods 
of alarm, considerate and thoughtful. 

Manifold and durable are the advantages that 
would accrue to individuals and communities, 
were this sentiment of serious consideration 
more extensively and permanently to pervade 
the public mind. To the absense of thought and 
serious consideration may be justly ascribed one 
half the ills that infest the condition of mankind. 
Innumerable are the evils which proceed from 
the want of this principle in a civil, religious, 
and moral estimate. 

To the want of due reflection and considera- 
tion, we are indebted for the gloomy system of 
fatalism, that leads men to deny the being and 
reality of a superintending Providence, and to 
infer that all things which happen in the Heavens 
•above, and in the earth beneath, are but the re- 
sult of a succession of causes and effects devoid 
of the efficiency of a directing intelligence It is 
not because the argument of a presiding Divini- 
ty is inconclusive or deficient in force — it is not 
because the proofs adduced are few, difficult of 
comprehension, or ill adapted to produce con- 
viction ; but, because the advocates of fate and 
materialism have never considered, in a collected 
frame of mind, the numberless manifestations of 
intelligence, boundless power, diffusive good- 
ness, provident wisdom and care, so conspicu- 
ous in the grand whole, as well as in all the 
greater and minuter parts, that compose it Had 
they attentively so considered they would have 



5* 

beta irresistibly led to acknowledge, adore, woi 
ship and obev this Great Source of being, this 
Father and Preserver of all. 

It is the same want of reflection and serious 
consideration, that leads men to embrace the 
disconsolate scheme of infidelity — It is not be- 
couse the authority of our divine religion is 
doubtful — It is not because the truth of the 
economy of grace and mercy is incapable of 
satisfactory demonstration ; but because the ene- 
mies of the faith in Christ will not incur the 
pains and labour necessary to a careful, exten- 
sive., and impartial examination. It would re- 
quire much time and leisure, a considerable 
display of abilities and literary attainments, to 
represent the evidence of this dispensation in 
connection and detail, in its various bearings and 
relations ; but leisure, ability, literature, and the 
love of patient investigation, do not appertain 
to the generality of men. Engrossed by the 
pressing pursuits of the passing moment, dis- 
tracted by care, and assailed by trouble, like . 
Gallio they care for none of these things ; and 
think, speak, and act, as if there were no Re- 
deemer, Mediator and Sanctifier ;. as if there 
were no immortal existence, and no future re- 
tribution ; as if death were an eternal sleep^ 
without any hopes of. happiness or prospect of 
misery beyond the grave. 

It is the same fatal cause, the same want of 
serious consideration, that leads men to com- 
mence and to continue the career of wickedness. 
They consider not, that sin is repugnant to the 
dictates of reason, the monitions of conscience, 
and the enactments and appointments of Heaven. 
They reflect not, that it often incurs the loss of 



53 

health, fortune and character, and always the 
contempt of the wise and good, and the dis- 
pleasure of God. They forget, that it is a de- 
parture from goodness and happiness, the fruit- 
ful source of misery to man, that exposes him 
to mental anguish, remorse of heart, pining 
agonies, bitter regrets and disturbed imagi- 
nations; and they believe not, that it ex- 
tends its malignant consequences to another 
condition of being, and consigns its unhappy 
votaries to miseries more deplorable than can 
well be conceived or described. To the worm 
that dicth not — to the fire that is not quenched — to 
tribulation and anguish — indignation and wrath — 
in the 

" Regions of sorrow ! doleful shades ! where peace 
" And rest can never dwell, hope never comes 
" That comes U) all, but torture without end," 

and these, we are told, are the appointed abodes 
.and destined sufferings of the impenitent and 
wicked, who consider and repent not. 

This absence of thought, this want of serious 
consideration, this parent of numerous ills, is a 
species of mental derangement. It is character- 
istic of the times, and significantly of the citi- 
zens of a dissipated and a thoughtless land. — 
For this intellectual maladv, the Deity* in his 
mercy, has prescribed unpalatable, but sovereign 
remedies. Pain, sickness, sufferings, and priva- 
tions, public calamities and afflictive natural 
visitations, are specifics that seldom fail to ope- 
rate as a corrective of this prevailing endemic 
of the age. The recent paroxysms and convul- 
sions of nature, operating according to their 
moral tendency, have restored many to the ex- 
ercise of their long abandoned reason. They 



54 

have led them to consider their ways', to repair 
fo Cod, whose service and whose statutes they 
had forsaken :; j to seek his face, confess their sins, 
find implore him to forgive and heal our land. 

.oihly — The late alarming concussions that have 
affected the physical tranquillity of our country, 
produced important religious and moral impres- 
sions, and led, in many instances, to the forma- 
tion of resolutions of amendment and progres- 
sive virtue. These purposes of reformation, if 
proceeding from repentance towards God ; and, 
if animated by faith in the Gospel of Christ, 
are indications of incipient conversion : — they 
manifest a change of mind, and the acquirement 
of new views and principles of conduct — they 
implv a condemnation and an abandonment of all 
evil thoughts and wicked practices. If faithfully 
adhered to and consistently persevered in, they 
constitute conversion and renewed obedience, 
and will secure all the blessings that are attached 
to, and flow from them. 

To the process of conversion, the fanatics and 
enthusiasts of the day, attach the wildest and 
most extravagant notions, great terrors of mind 
md consternations of heart ; agonies, agitations, 
and convulsions ; frightful shoutings and terrific 
scream in irs, sighs, groans and lamentations, and 
a tissue of fooleries and nunneries. It is confes- 
sed, that a notorious sinner of a remote age. 
Trembled at the energetic eloquence of the in- 
: spired Apostle, as he reasoned of righteousness, 
temperance, and judgment to come, and yet it does 
not appear that this same Felix, who was guilty 
of crimes of great wickedness and enormity, 
was converted. It is a matter of public notoriety, 
Uiat many a criminal has been affected with fear 



55 

I trembling zt the powerful arguments of the 
officers of t ie law, who yet, having escaped the 
appointed sentence, through the mistaken human- 
ity of juries and the lenity of his accusers, be- 
came ten times more the child of guilt and diso- 
bedience than he was before. It" would seem, 
that shouts, groans, sighs, and convulsions, are not 
unerring criterions of conversion, nor descrip- 
tively true, or characj erestic of the regenerate^ i ) 
Human actions present the best criterion of prin- 
ciples and of the reality of conversion So the 
Divine Redeemer taught, and so the faithful in- 
terpreters of his word are bound to believe and 
to inculcate. Every tree, argues he, is known 
by its fruit — Men do not gather grapes of thorns, 
nor figs of thistles. Assuredly they do not. — 
The religious principle will ever produce suitable 
and corresponding eilects in temper and general 
conduct. Pretention to doctrines may be fal- 
lacious; the observance of rites and ordinances 
may be hypocritical ; groans and convulsions 
may be the result of artifice and affectation ; but 
never can it happen, in any case, that men, who 
lead immoral and profligate lives, arc thoroughly 
converted, or that they believe unto salvation in 
God and Providence, in Christ and Redemption, 
and in the c ernal destinies of the righteous and 
the wicked. 

The resolutions of amendment and progressive 
virtue, produced by these awful dispensations, 
if not frequently r newed, are in dang, r of 
being effaced, the fiame of devotion that has 
been kindled, if not fed with new fuel, will 
burn with diminished ardour. If our deteiwdn- 
ation> to improve are transient and evanescent, 

(i) Vide Note IX. 



56 

and disappear with the causes which produced 
them, they are of no avail to any effectual pur- 
pose of reformation. And there is reason to ap- 
prehend, that" this, in too many instances, will he 
the case. Security banishes fear and apprehensi- 
on; and, when men are engaged in the business 
and pursuits of life, and assailed by care and dis- 
traction, their purposes of reformation are too 
often forgotten, and instead of growing wiser, 
and advancing in virtue, they yield themselves 
up to indifference and insensibilitv, to those 
scenes of pleasure and amusement, which for- 
merly seduced and corrupted them, not reflect- 
ing, that the Deitv, in suspending his judgments 
and averting his threatening dispensations, de- 
signed to lead them to repentance. They, who, 
in this inconsistent and disgraceful manner, 
"sinner it and saint if/' and who are "every 
thing by starts and noihing long," as caprice, 
fancy, or accident may dictate, are still in the 
gall of bitterness and bund of iniquity ;* accumu- 
lating for themselves ivrath against the day of 
wrath, f 

This departure from the service of God, this 
putting the hand to the plough and looking back, 
this budding again the tiling that zvas destroyed, 
these relapses into sin, and the purposes of 
amendment that are of this short continuance, 
are of no avail in the sight of God — they are in- 
compatible with any comfortable prospects be- 
yond the grave. Consistency and perseverance 
are so necessary in the Christian profession, that, 
destitute of them, no progress can be made in 
the path of the just. Ihe inconstant and irreso- 
lute, the wavering and the indolent, are ever 

* Acts viii. 23. + Rom. ii. 5. 



57 

incapable of attaining to any eminence in reli- 
gion or usefulness. It is the appointment of 
Providence, and the constitution of things, that 
care and attention, diligence and perseverance, 
are necessary to the attainment of every good. 
All who are ambitious to excel; all who pur- 
sue fortune, fame or reputation, and all who 
aspire to eminence and distinction, must incur 
the pains of application, sufferings, and priva- 
tions, to accomplish their purposes. All boun- 
tiful nature will not yield her valuable products, 
but to those only who propitiate her by acts of 
diligence and skilful cultivation; — the discove- 
ries in science, the achievements of patriotism, 
and the triumphs of art, are all equally the re- 
sult of assiduous application, of well directed 
and persevering efforts. And is it to be imagin- 
ed, that religion, the one thing needful, the pearl 
of inestimable value, the inheritance that fadeth not 
away, the joys that eye has not seen, that ear has 
not heard, and the heart of man cannot conceive, 
are to be acquired, without any care, study, 
and attention of mind; without zeal, diligence, 
and application ; without privations and denials, 
exertions and perseverance ? — This remains not 
now to be controverted. The sacred writers 
concur in representing our holy religion more 
as a practical than a speculative system, that 
requires care, vigilance, and exertion; zeal, 
fidelity, and diligence ; forbearance, self-denial, 
and the patient endurance of sufferings, in its 
professors: And hence these general exhorta- 
tions: — strive to enter in at the strait gate;* 
Grow in grace ;f run with patience the road that is 
set before you ;J be not weary in well-doing ;§ be 

* Luke xiii. 24. t 2d Pet. iii. 18. J Heb, xii. 1. § Gal. vi. 9. 
H 



5§ 

thou faithful to death ;* he that endnrcth to the 
end shall he saved ;f be steadfast and immoveable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as 
uriich as you kuoiv that your labour is not in vain 
in the Lord.^. 

And Lastly — The overwhelming destruction 
effected by earthquakes in other ages and coun- 
tries, naturally and justly excited general appre- 
hensions that those vast concussions, which re- 
cently disturbed the physical tranquillity of a 
considerable portion of our country, would ex- 
pose the inhabitants to similar irretrievable dis- 
asters. These fears and apprehensions have, 
alas, been too fatally verified and confirmed — 
The face of nature, in some districts, has been 
disfigured in appearance : the earth cleft asunder 
in chasms of vast extent ; islands and prairies 
have sunk and disappeared; buildings damaged ; 
Jives lost; and terror and dismay propagated far 
and wide. The ravages of these alarming pa- 
roxysms of nature are not yet fully ascertained, 
in all their extent and variety of mischief; and 
what still greater destruction Providence, in his 
unsearchable ways, contemplates to accomplish 
by these alarming vicissitudes and threatening 
appearances, time only can discover. 

Against evils of this, and of every description, 
our only and best security is, a rational and well 
regulated confidence in the protection of that 
great and mysterious Being, who first created 
the complicated frame of things, and still di- 
rects the operations of the universe, by an active 
and all-wise Providence, which never slumbers nor 
sleeps. The deductions of reason and the decla- 
rations of Scripture concur in evidence to estab- 

® Re\; ii, 10. t Math. x. 22. i Cor. xv. 28. 



59 

iisli this conclusion, that he who made the fire to 
burn and the wind to blow, who created the ele- 
ments, and ordained the laws of their motion 
and action, can direct and influence them in ways 
subservient to his purposes, so that no evil can 
befal us, and no power can hurt us, without his 
permission and appointment. And this assurance 
is alone sufficient to inspire tranquillity, conso- 
lation and firmness, those ministers of grace and 
good to man, under every vicissitude, and to 
fortify his mind against every threatening ap- 
pearance, whatever aspect it may assume. And 
so numerous, strange, complicated, and severe, 
are the evils to which we are exposed, in the 
course of our appointed pilgrimage through the 
intricate labyrinth of life, that to explode the 
idea of a superior and superintending influence, 
would be to render man of all creatures the most 
miserable 

It is not to be imagined that the Deity extends 
this protection to all his moral and intelligent 
offspring' indiscriminately, without limitations 
or exceptions This would be incompatible with 
his character as the righteous and equitable go- 
vernor of the world. He extends his protection 
and confines his blessings to those only who are 
qualified to receive them, and who have render- 
ed themselves so, by piety, purity, and a consci- 
ence void of offence. Numerous, energetic, and 
consoling, are the passages of Scripture which 
support this representation. Jill things shall 
work together for good to them that love Cod.* — 
Great peace have they who love thy law, and nothing 
shall offend theni.j- in famine he will redeem thee 
from death, and in war from the jpoxver of the. 

* Rom. vi«i q8. + Psalm cxix. i6> 



6o 

sword ; neither shall thou be afraid of destruction 
when it cotneth* The angel of the Lord encamp- 
etli round about them that fear him and dclivereth 
them.f These are animating and consoling con- 
siderations, and, supported by the elastic force of 
conscious rectitude, sufficient to inspire that cool, 
composed, and fearless intrepidity, that feels not 
agitated or alarmed, by any threatening appear- 
ances, and that stands erect and unmoved amidst 
the war of elements, the wreck of matter, and 
the crush of worlds. The Koyal Prophet of 
Israel, in a strain of sublime poetry and sacred 
rapture, expresses this confidence in a manner 
unequalled for impressive energy and interest of 
description. Though the earth be removed, and 
though the mountains be carried into the midst of 
the sea : Though the waters thereof roar and be 
troubled, though the mountains shake with the swell- 
ings thereof : yea, though we walk through the 
valley of the shadow of death, yet will we not fear 
evil, for God is our refuge and strength, a very 
present help in the time of trouble. | Trust ye, 
therefore, in the Lord forever ; for with the Lord 
Jehovan is everlasting strength.^ AMEN. 

* Job v. 20t 21. + Psalm xxxiv. 7. ^Ib« xlvi. & xxiii. 

<j Isa. xxv. 4. 



XOTES. 



NOTE I.— PAGE 21. 

THE Inquifition is here alluded to. This dreadful en- 
gine of religious tyranny and perfecution is chiefly confined 
to the Roman Catholic countries of Spain and Portugal and 
their dependencies. This monftrous tiibunal takes cogni- 
zance of, and punifhes all heresies, and departures from the 
fyftem of faith and difcipline adopted by the Romanics and 
prefcnbea to the votaries or their communion. The more 
effectually to accomplifh ..he deftrucHion of thofe who are be- 
come objects of the refentment of the lnquifitors aid their 
numerous army of fpies and informers, the fecret accufations 
and evidence of the revengeful and the malignant ; of "• ma- 
lefactors, convicts, and proftitutes ;" and of the most vile 
and infamous are received and accredited. r I he unhappy 
prisoners are confined to folitary noisome dungeons, deprived 
of all means of expofing the falfity of the accufations and 
teflimony brought againft them. To implicate themlelves 
and extort confeffion of guilt, they are fubjected to a train 
of the moll excruciating tortures. Convicted, their eilates, 
real and perfonal, are confifcated, themfelves burnt alive in 
public, accompanied by circumftances of folemn barbarity, 
and their fouls configned to eternal perdition. And all this 
fcene of cruel and mocking fufferings they endure, merely 
it would feem, bccaufe the all benevolent Author of things has 
given them conftitutions of mind, which render them incapa- 
ble of thinking, conceiving, judging, and beieving in the 
fame manner as these Father inquifkors and their adherents 
do. In juftice to the Ronunifts of the prefent day, it may 
be proper to add, that nine-tenths of their co.nmunion as 
heartily deteft this inhuman tribunal, as their brethren of the 
Proteftant Church. From the agitated ilate of the moral 
world, and the progrefs of knowledge and freedom, there is 
reafon to anticipate the near approach of the period when 
this difgraceful court fhall be erased from the lift of human 
inftitutions. 



62 

NOTE II.— PAGE 2S. 

This is intended as a popular, and not as a true, or philo- 
foplical reprefenution of the ong.n of thefe formidable con- 
cufiions of nature. To thofe vho are acquainted with that 
branch of tne arts, which embraces the preparation and fufion. 
of the metalic ores, it is well known, that the least moifture 
coming in contact with thefe ores, in a ftate of fufion, flax, 
or lava, the molt deftru&ive explofions have taken place by 
the fudden expanfion of the fleam. In confequence of ca- 
sualties of this defcription, the earth has been torn up, the 
buildings damaged, and the lives of the workmen ioft, by 
the combined action of the heat and the projeft ile force com- 
municated to the fused metal cy the rapid rarefaction of the 
fleam. It the pigmy procefles of little man can fluke in this 
manner a whole city to its centre, demoiiih the buildings, 
and endanger the lives of all in their vicinity, what vail: 
concuflions and dreadful txplofions might we not naturally 
expect, from the grand laboratories of nature, and the eter- 
nal furnaces of ./Etna. 

NOTE III.— PAGE 2!>. 

Truth and falfehood have been fo intimately blended in 
many of the accounts of the late awful phenomena, that to 
give a detailed hillory of their appearances and effects, for 
the prefent occasion, wouid be extremely di . cult, — and is 
unneceffary, were it practicable. 

They have been witnefled, nearly at the fame period, over 
a very considerable poition of our continent, and in many 
parts of Lnrope. In moft places their effects have been 
Similar, unattended by the deftruclion of property, or of life. 
It is chit fly on the banks of the Ohio and Mississippi that 
their conlequences have been more dreadful ; and even there, 
perhaps, when we 1 iv afide the exaggerations which either 
fear or folly have produced; we (hall find that the difmay, 
and perfonal inconvenience have been greater than the acT.ial 
danger; and although feveral lives have been loft, the face of 
the country partially changed, an 1 fome property injured and 
destroyed, yet the number, extent, and amount are neither 
confiderablc nor well afcertained. The yifitatiohs of Heaven 
(fo r whetever purpofe they may have been ordered) have 
been tempered with mercy and forbearance : they have awed* 
but no: chastised. 



&3 

In our own neighbourhood, it is ftated that, fince the 16th, 
of December, fourteen distinft lhocks have been felt; inde- 
pendent of the various and long-continued uemors by which 
the earth has been agitated. Of thefe fourteen fhocks, the 
moil violent were 

H. M. 

lfl on the 16th of Dec. 181 1, at 2 55 A. m. its duration about 2 minutes 

2d on the same day, at 7 57 a. m. go seconds 

3d on the 17th o Dec. at o 50 P M. so seconds 

4th on the 23d of Jin. 1812, at 9 15 A.M. i£ minutes 

5th on the 7th of Feb. at 3 53 \. m. 7 minuies 

6th on the same evening, at 10 57 p. m. 2 minutes 

The fky, during the continuance of thefe concuflions, was 
generally, though not uniformly, dark and hazy; and they 
were preceded and accompanied by frequent fogs, of a den- 
sity unufual to the climate. 

The rumbling noife, commonly attendant upon Earth- 
quakes, was alfo heard previous to the lhocks of the 16th of 
December and 7tn of February, and very vivid flashes of 
lightning followed the conculfion which we felt on the even- 
ing of the lail mentioned date. 

The motion of the earth was not uniform : in December 
it appeared to be undulating ; in January violent and irre- 
gular ; and in February the fenfation we experienced, was 
fimilar to what we may conceive as likely to be produced, by 
a fudden jerking to and fro of the earth's furface. 

The consternation of the inhabitants will be remembered 
as very general and confiderable, but the molt fenfible effe&s 
of these repeated (hocks were confined to the mere moving 
of the buildings and their firniture; and the produ&ion (in 
fome cafes) of a violent naufea at the ftomach. It is believ- 
ed that, amongft us, there has not been a fingle inftance of 
perlonal injury, or deftruftion of property : and ifter alarm- 
ing us for a time, these awful visitations feem to have p-fled 
away, leaving but few events for the page of the Hiftorian, 
and fcarcely an additional faft to fupport the hypothefis or the 
Philofopner. But they have brought before us a new con- 
viction of our dependence on the supreme governor of 
the World ; they have exhibited at once his mercy and his 
power — and alike awakened our gratitude and our fears. 

[The preceding note was frarcely delivered into the hands of the pub- 
liflier when we received intelligence of a concussion, more violent in its 
operation, and terrible in its consequences, than any thing which the 
most timorous amongst us had dreaded or anticipated. 



6 4 

On the 26th of March, at 4 p. m nearly the whole of the city of 
C^accas, and all the town of Laguira, together with the neighbouring 
Villages, were destroyed by the severe shock of an Earthquake. It is 
supposed that from twelve to fifteen thousand persons have perished. — 
The ruins of the city ; the despair of the survivots ; the bodies of the 
dead, mangled bv their dwellings, or half consumed in the funeral piles, 
or floating upon the waters, to which they had been committed as to a 
common grave ; present a picture of horror, beyond the power of im- 
agination to heighten, and from the contemplation of which the mind 
turus and sicke ,s. 

Since the above date there have also been accounts of slight shocks 
both in Richmond and Charleston. The public mind is again alarmed, 
and well indeed may we each exclaim 

" Shield me, gracious Heav'n, 
" Oh, snatch me from destruction ! If this globe, 
"This solid globe, which thine own hand hath made 
" So firm and sure, if this my steps betray ; 
"If my own mother Earth, from whence 1 sprung, 
•• Rise up with rage unnatural to devour 
" Her wretched offspring, whither shall I fly ? 
" Where look for succour? Where, — but up to thee, 
" Almighty Father ?" Bishop Porteus.] 

NOTE IV.— page 3 1 . 

It has been juftly observed by Dr. Ramsay, the Historian 
of South-Carolina, that our proximity to the tropical regions 
expofes our climate to frequent thunder guffs and violent 
tern pelts. From the original fettlement of the ftate, to the 
prefent times, we have been vifited by four of thofe com- 
motions of the atmofphere diltinguifhed by the name cf 
Hurricanes-, at the different intervals of twenty-eight, twenty- 
four, and fifty-two years. The deftruction of floating, city 
and country property, effected by thefe commotions of the 
elements was incalculably great- The face of nature appear- 
ed blalfed, as if the besom of destruction had paifed over it.— 
One of the moft alarming appearances attenoing thefe Hurri- 
canes, is the sudden elevation of the tides, and the vaft ac- 
cumulation of water; on our coafi. There is reafon to appre- 
hend, that fhculd anv flight fubiidence of our fhores ever take 
place, in corifequence of a concuffion of nature or any fudden 
abrasion of the banks that confine the gulf-ftream, that a 
great proportion of our low-country will be covered with 
water. 

The deflructive blaft of a Tornado embraced with irre- 
Mible violence a fecuon of the city of Charleiton, on the 



65 






ictii day of September 181 1, and in a manner that was near- 
ly inlhntancous, deilroyed twenty live;;, and city pioperty 
to the amount of many thoufand dollars. 

It is worthy of obfervaiion, that in the interval between 
this Tornado and the firft concuffions of the Earthquakes, 
various meteor^, or balls of fire of different fizes and appear- 
ances, were obferved traverfmg and exploding within the 
limits of our horizon. One of thefe, of a magnitude calcu- 
lated to excite alarm, was feen by fpectators a hundred miles 
asunder, about three o'clock of the evening of the 21st of 
iSouember, moving with great rapidity in a fouth-wefl direc- 
tion, it illuminated the ground and the furface of the waters, 
as if a torch of burning matter was pafiing over. It was con- 
jectured to have been about ten or fifteen feet in diameter, 
but this conjecture mull have been vague. The rapidity with 
which thefe meteors move, and the convivial hour of the 
day at which this patted, are caufes fu,..cient to account for 
its not being more generally observed. 



NOTE V.— pages. 



Difperfed as the Ifraelites are, and perfecuted as they have 
been, it is an agreeable reflection, that they (hall not utterly be 
deftroyed or finally cut off. ]t is written in the decrees of 
Heaven, and recorded in their own Scriptures, that a remnant 
shall still be sa<ved ;* and 1 1: at, when the times oj the Gentiles are 
fulfilled, f they shall be restored to seek the Lord their God and 
David their King, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the 
latter days.% And the times of the (jentiles are advancing 
with an accelerated pace to complete fulfillment. In the 
midfr. of the tribulation, difcord, and confufion, which dif- 
tract und afflict our times, the Chriitians of the Britifh Jfles, 
and their brethern of these United States, laying afide, 23 
became them, ail fectarian prejudices, jealoufies and d vifions, 
have united to their immortal honour, in one grand affocia- 
tion of Grace and Lharity, to publifh the Scriptures in dif- 
ferent languages, and to difieminate the glad tidings of the 
Gospel to all who yet sit in darkness. This speaks comfortably 
to 'JerusaLm, and announces to her, that her warfare zs about 
to be accomplished, and that her iniquity is pardoned. § 

* Ezck, vi. !?. + Luke xxi. 24; £ Hos. iii. 5. \ Isa. xi. 1 . 
I 



65 

NOTE VI.— page ST. 

In the feventeenth year of our a:ia twelve cities of Aihi 
Minor were deftroyed in one night. Jn 365, the greater 
part of the Roman empire, embracing, at the time, nearly 
ail hurope, and coiifiderable parts of Afia and Africa, was 
fhaken by a violent Earthquake, it is faid that on the 20th 
May, 526, two hundred and fifty thoufand perfohs perifhed 
in the Earthquake of Antioch. h\ 1692, in about two 
minutes time, nine-tenths of the town of i ort Royal, Jamaica, 
were deftroyed ; the houfes funk thirty and forty fathoms, 
two thoufand perfons loft their lives, and about one thoufand 
acres of land funk. There was fcarcely a planting houfe, or 
fugar work, left Handing on the ifland, and about <hree 
thoufand of the inhabitants, that furvived this fevere vifita- 
tion, died of diieafes contracted in confequence of the 
Earti. quake. In the ."-icilian Earthquake of 1693, fifty-four 
cities and towns, together with an immenfe number of vil- 
lages, were either totally deftroyed or in a great meafurc 
rendered uninhabitable. Of this number was Catania, dif- 
tinguifhed for the elegance of its buildings. Its whole po- 
pu ation, confining of eighteen thoufand nine hundred, were 
crufhed under the ruins to the exception of about nine hun 
dred. In South-America. Callao, Lima, Quito, and St. 
Jago ; and other places, at different periods, fuffered. various 
fignai diiafters. The dreadful Earthquake at Lifbon, on the 
ift of November, 1755, deftroyed, in about fix minutes, the 
greateft part of the city, and iixty thoufand inhabitants. The 
concuifions of this Earthquake affected all Europe, the north- 
ern and wefttfrn parts of A'rica, the Madeira- fflands, and the 
Weil Indies. The Earthquakes of Calabria, in the years 
378 j and IJ7S6, inclufive, _ butchiefly^of the former year, 
lev: lled_ hills, filled up vallies, fplit mountains asunder, de- 
tached locks more than a fquare mile in extent, and rolled 
them into the fea ; formed two hundred and fifteen lakes, 
fome of them extenfive; Completely deftroyed one hundred 
and eighty two towns and villages ; rendered ninety-two un- 
inhabitable; and crushed under the general ruins twenty-nine 
thoufand four hundred and fifty- one perfons, and five thoufand 
feven hundred and nine died of difeafes contracted in con- 
fequence of the Earthquakes. — Rees's Cyclopedia. 

NOTE VII.— PAGE 45. 

Perhaps no period of equal duration which has elapsed 
fmce the discovery of America, has been diftinguifhed by fo 



6r 

many remarkable occurrence?, as the few months, which 
have paft fince the 10th of September, 1811. . The country 

has not only been vifited by ihe moll uncommon, and alarm- 
ing natural phenomena, but even fome of thole events which 
are periodically expected, have affumed an unufually for 
dabie appearance and excited great apprehenfions. Jn all 
countries within a certain diftante of the Tropics, the rivers 
overflow their banks, generally, at a particular feafon of 
the year. The uniform occurrence of the fame event famili- 
arizes ic to the mind, and it paffes almofl without obfervation. 
But during the laft rainy feafon tins inattention was changed 
into the mm oft folicitude. It teemed as if the fountains of 
the great deep were broken up, and the windows of Heaven 
were opened. The rivers rofe to an extraordinary height. 
The inundations, in many places, covered the country to a 
great diftance. The roads were rendered impafTuble and 
much property was deftroyid. Happily few lives were loft. 
But South-Carolina was called upon to mourn the premature 
fate of one of the mod excellent and ufeful of her fons. On 
the 2 1 ft of January, 1 S 1 2, in attempting to pafs the caufewav 
iit Hogaboo Swamp, Charles Dewar. Simons, ProfefTor of 
Chemiftry and Natural Philofophy intheCollegeofSouth-Caro- 
lina, fella victim to the inundation and the feverity of the wea- 
ther. The domeftic character of Mr. Simon's was of the nobleft 
order. The iuavity of his manners, his extecfive generoiity, 
the fincerity of his friendlhip, and his univerfal benevolence, 
will not be fpeedily forgotten. His death was an alnioft 
irreparable lofs to the College of South-Carolina. His love 
of knowledge was unbounded, his ardour of purfuit inde- 
fatigable; his lagacity acute and difcriminating, and his 
memory remarkably retentive. Had he lived until his mind 
had reached its full maturity, and put forth its accumulated 
ftrength in elucidating the fciences which he fo ardently loved, 
lie would undoubtedly have extended their prefent boundaries 
and become the future boaft and glory of his country. 

The unhappy refult of periodical events has been in one 
part of the union, terribly agravated by a most deplorable 
and unexpected calamity At Richmond, in Virginia, on the 
evening of the 26th December, 181 1, a fire broke out in the 
Theatre, when it was filled with about feven hundred perfons. 
The devouring element spread with aftonifhing rapidity, and 
in a few minutes the whole pile of buildings was involved 
in one unbroken blaze. Little time was allowed for the gay 
aflembly to efcape. The young and the old, the active and 
the feeble, the blooming maid and the venerable fenator, 



68 

were doomed to one common fate. The number of the un- 
fortunate fufferers has not, perhaps, been exactly afcertained, 
but it is certain that not fewer that 75 peribns were deftroyed. 

At once on every side 

The rapid flames rush up — 

Their garmenis flying folds 

Float inward to the fire 

'Till, one by one, whiil'd in thev fall, 

And the devouring flames have swallow'd all- 
Then all was still — 

The multitude were huslvd in silent awe : 

Only the roaring of the Barnes was heard. 

NOTE VIII.— pAce 46. 

Numberlefs are the facts that fupport the opinion, that the 
religious fentiment of the Deity is acquired. The anecdote 
of the pupil of the Abbe de l'fcpee, the celebrated teacher of 
tiie deaf and dumb, is well known. This ingenious and bene- 
volent man had made the idea of a Creator, embracing in his 
Providential care all the parts of animate and inanimate na- 
ture, for the firft time, familiar to one of his pupils, an inter- 
eiling youth. To this unhappy young man, this doctrine 
appeared a new and important difcovery ; and, being defirour 
to communicate it to thefe in whofe welfare he was most in- 
terested, he begged leave " to go home and tell that good 
news to his mother." 

NOTE IX — PAGE bo. 

It does not appear that any of thofe who had the happinefs 
of hearing the Redeemer of n. :r.'- : nd preach his divine fer- 
mon on the mount, ivas strongly exorcised or struck down, as the 
frequenters of Camp-Meetings exprefs thcmfelvesin reference 
to thofe painful and humiliating fcenes which are exhibited 
at thofe places ; and the fpecimen which the Evangelift has 
preferved of that celebrated difcourfe, is fuperior to any 
thing of the kind that has ever been communicated to the 
world. This was the opinion entertained of it at the time it 
was delivered. The people exprelTed not their approbation, 
but their astonishment at the excellence of his doctrine, and con- 
feffed, that never man spake like this man, for he taught them as 
one having authority and not as the scribzs. — Math. vii. 28. ?.q- 
John 5. 46, 

FINIS.